Nature can be glorious, miraculous, and sometimes downright brutal. Not all of us get to witness the amazing feats of the natural world happening in the flesh, though. Luckily, we have wildlife photographers who’s riveting images can help bring the wilderness into our living rooms.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award was announced Tuesday at London’s Natural History Museum. The winner, Yongqing Bao of Qinghai, China, captured the moment a marmot reacts in shock at a Tibetan fox about to pounce. The photo is pretty funny, but it also communicates the terrifying reality animals face out there. You can almost hear the marmot’s scream.
“Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment,” Roz Kidman Cox, chair of the judging panel, said in a press release announcing the winners. “The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance.”
The photos are a reminder that our planet is worth fighting for in an era of rising extinction worries and a dying planet. Maybe for you, the photo of a big fin reef squid that won 14-year-old Cruz Erdmann Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year is your reminder. For me, it’s Shangzhen Fan’s photo of a snow-covered desert. This year’s award winners have something for everyone.
We’ve rounded up our favorites.